The Saga of the Barber Shop

I guess you might say that The Barber Shop started in 1981.

I was the proud owner of a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model II computer with a staggering 64 K (yes, "K"... one thousandth of an "M") of memory. Because hard drives weren't available, I daisy-chained three floppy drives (these were those big 8-inch floppies) together to give myself a whopping 3/4 of a meg of offline storage. (Remember, in those early days the only "clouds" were in the sky.) It was amazing — I could spell-check an entire 30-page document in under a minute!

It sounds crude (and it was), but that system enabled my little one-person business to compete — successfully — with businesses thousands of times bigger than mine. For example, I wrote, edited, and printed the first of 18 manuals (Tooterbooks™), and developed over 100 different workbooks.

I could do a lot with that system; but there was so much that I could only dream of doing. In 1981 no one but die-hard geeks had even heard of the Internet, so I kept in touch with people via a little 8-page newsletter called The Barberian World. It was popular, but I felt constrained by the many limitations of paper-based publishing.

By the early 90's, I was exploring the Internet, and "exploring" is the right word. The earliest browsers hadn't been created yet (Internet Explorer 1.0 wasn't released until August 1995), so while I was captivated by the potential that the Internet offered, I couldn't do anything except poke around a few university computers... and dream.

Several years later, the World Wide Web had been created and I created my first web page by using America Online (as AOL was called back then). It wasn't much, but I was hooked — I couldn't wait until I could become a full-fledged participant in the Internet miracle.

A couple of years after that, it became possible for ordinary folks to get their own domain names, so on March 14, 1997, I registered "thebarbershop" as a dot-com, and started building my first official web site. (Here's a copy of one of the earliest versions of The Barber Shop.) I'll admit, my first tries were very crude, but I kept working at it. And it paid off....

By the year 2000, The Barber Shop had grown to such a point that PC World magazine listed it as a “top ten web site for professional speakers".

The world has undergone a revolution — in fact, several revolutions — since then, and it's still changing every day. The Barberian World has been replaced with The Barber Shop, and The Barber Shop is ever-changing too. But through the years, one thing has stayed the same — my commitment to helping people realize their full potential. The Barber Shop has helped a lot of people over the years; I hope it will help you too!

So c'mon in and check it out! Here at The Barber Shop, you'll find information about the programs and services I provide and more!

As I've said since 1981, here's wishing you every success in your endeavors!

Jim Barber

Head Proprietor, The Barber Shop